The stock markets in the United States ended the trading session with mixed results today. The S&P 500 gained 0.11% while the Dow Jones declined 0.19%.

The Russell 2000 dropped 0.39% while the NASDAQ reached an all-time high for the second day at 5,220.14 points, up by 0.91%. Google’s better than expected financial results for the second quarter propelled the positive momentum of the NASDAQ.

Commenting on the market trends, Bill Schultz, chief investment officer at McQueen, Ball & Associates told Bloomberg, “We’re now watching earnings come out, with the background of what’s going on internationally. It looks like Google had a good earnings report, so that’s helping. There’s nothing right now that looks like there’s an impediment to pushing stocks higher or causing a selloff.”

Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen reiterated during her second day of testimony to Congress that she expected an interest rate hike this year, and the pace of the subsequent increases would be gradual. She explained that delaying an interest rate hike and tightening too quickly bring risks.

The Department of Commerce reported that construction of new homes in the United States climbed in June. Housing starts increased 9.8% to 1.17 million, higher than the 1.11 million estimated by economists.

Nomura Securities chief economist Lewis Alexander commented that the figure was positive. He added,”You’ve got decent employment growth that’s been particularly good for young people, you’ve got relatively low-interest rates, somewhat easing of credit standard — all of those things are helping.”

Separately, the University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer confidence decline to 93.3% in July. Economists are expecting a reading of 96%.

Investors will continue to monitor economic data to determine the timing of the implementation of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 18,086.45 (-0.19%)
• S&P 500- 2,126.64 (+0.11%)
• NASDAQ- 5,210.14 (+0.91%)
• Russell 2000- 1,267.93 (-0.39%)

European Markets

• EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,670.34 (-0.17%)
• FTSE 100 Index- 6,775.08 (-0.31%)
• Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,673.42- (-0.37%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

• Nikkei 225- 20,650.92 (+0.25%)
• Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 25,415.27 (+1.00%)
• Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,151.50 (+3.86%)

Market  Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Etsy surged more than 30% to $21.98 per share. Google noted a huge increase in traffic to the website of the arts and crafts marketplace operator. Omid Kordestani, chief business officer at Google, said, “Developers like Etsy are already seeing a boost in traffic as a result of deep linking.”

Google shares increased 16% today. The Class A shares of Google closed $699.62 a piece while the Class C shares closed $672.93 a piece. The search engine giant’s market capitalization increased $60 billion in one day to around $375 billion.

Hertz Global Holdings surged climbed nearly 12% to $19.01 per share. The company announced the completion of its accounting review, submitted its 2014 annual report and restatements of its 2011, 2012, and 2013 results.

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